- Increase awareness of flow-related problems in the Ipswich River watershed and the impacts of development and water withdrawals on the watershed
- Educate stakeholders on the low-impact development (LID) and water conservation techniques and projects being demonstrated through the grant
- Disseminate the results of data collection and analysis from the demonstration projects and the conclusions from the USGS computer modeling effort
Description: Outreach and education efforts included development and distribution of outreach materials, workshops and presentations, site tours and signage, participant meetings, and an educational forum for legislators.
Outreach Materials: DCR and its project partners developed a variety of educational materials, including project fact sheets, fliers, signage, and a project web site. The Ipswich River Watershed Association (IRWA), a key partner in outreach efforts, developed a Water Wise Handbook for Municipal Managers in the Ipswich Watershed highlighting 20 tools that municipalities can use to protect water supplies, manage stormwater, preserve open space, educate residents, and restore the Ipswich River. (a web portal for the hand book can be found here).
Workshops and Presentations: DCR and project partners delivered presentations on the low flow conditions in the Ipswich River and the demonstration projects and the techniques highlighted under the grant at approximately 30 local meetings, academic and policy symposia, technical workshops, and professional conferences over the course of the grant period.
Site Tours: Tours of many of the demonstration sites were held over the course of the grant period for municipal officials and boards, interested citizens, advocates, regulators, engineers, consultants, developers, and students. On June 9, 2009, more than 100 people participated in a full-day presentation and tour of the LID Subdivision (Project #1), the Green Roof (Project #2), and the Silver Lake LID parking lot and neighborhood demonstration projects (Projects #3 and 4).
Technical Assistance: In partnership with DCR, the Ipswich River Watershed Association provided technical and planning assistance to citizens and municipalities in the Ipswich River Watershed over the grant period in areas related to LID and water conservation, including: stormwater bylaws, LID drainage solutions, conservation-oriented water rates, water conservation programs, environmentally-friendly landscaping techniques, pollution remediation and ecological restoration.
Grant Participant Events: In June 2008, project coordinators held a Raingarden Maintenance Work Day with residents in the Silver Lake neighborhood where the raingardens were installed, to educate them about the function of the raingardens and introduce them to the maintenance needed to keep the gardens attractive and functioning. Residents were able to pick from a variety of plantings to spruce up the raingardens nearest their homes. In spring, 2006, 2007, and 2008, project coordinators held gatherings for residential participants in the rainwater harvesting and weather-based irrigation control programs to provide program information and receive feedback from participants
Greenscapes Program: In cooperation with a coalition of North Shore organizations and the Massachusetts Bays Estuary Association, IRWA launched Greenscapes North Shore, a campaign focusing on environmentally friendly landscaping.
Legislature Educational Forum: On November 4, 2009, DCR and the Ipswich River Watershed Association hosted a forum for Massachusetts legislators and staff to inform and educate them about the grant-funded projects, to share results from the five years of studies funded by the grant, and to stimulate discussion about issues affecting Massachusetts watersheds.
Partners: Ipswich River Watershed Association and partners for each of the nine demonstration projects.